Canucks Report - Kings in town for rematch
The Canucks (34-23-9) kick off a four-game home stand tonight in a rematch against the visiting Kings (29-28-9), who served them a 3-2 loss on Monday in Los Angeles.
The players were out in full force this morning for the team's game day skate at GM Place, preparing for tonight's match up. The team returned home from their 2-game California road trip with a disappointing 0-1-1 record.
"It's tough to come back with only one point, it wasn't the results we wanted," said Kevin Bieksa. "We still had good spells in those two games, but we didn't put a full 60 together and we realize that if you have lulls like that in your game it's going to cost you."
Before the road games in California, the Canucks won seven consecutive games on home ice. The team looks to extend that record tonight and get back in the win column. The Canucks continue to work on their special teams, a crucial element of their game down the stretch.
"We had a lot of penalties in Anaheim, and L.A. as well," said Mats Sundin. "There are so many skilled players in the League today and plus you lose momentum from your own side. Some guys are getting a lot of ice time and some guys don't [when you're on the penalty kill] so you lose the rhythm a little bit. So for sure discipline is something we have to get back to.
"I thought in Anaheim we did a better job [on the power play]. We shot the puck more. L.A. plays the same style, they have a tight box in front of the net, their not going to give you a lot of passes through the box, so we've got to take the shots they give us. A lot of times it's going to be from the outside and from the point, we'll have to do that and try to get some traffic in front of the goalie."
Head coach Alain Vigneault will not make any changes to his lineup heading into tonight's game. Defencemen Rob Davison and Ossi Vaananen will be healthy scratches.
Tonight’s game faces off at 7:00pm PST and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. The Canucks will honour the memory of Bob Ackles, former President and CEO of the BC Lions, in a pre-game ceremony tonight.
HANSEN AT PRACTICE
Forward Jannik Hansen was back for his first practice with the team, since being sidelined on February 19th with a fractured finger. He is still a few days away from coming off the injury reserve list.
"[I'm] getting back into game shape, obviously when you sit out for three weeks and skate a bit on your own, it's not the same as being in game shape," said Hansen. "So it's a matter of getting back to where I was and getting the finger working too.
"Of course, you never want to sit out, but this is when hockey begins to get even more exciting. You can see where the playoff race is going and this is where you want to play and want to be involved."
Rick Rypien continues skating, but there is no timeline set for his return.
"Jannik is close, a couple more days and we'll get the green light if we need him to play him," said Vigneault. "And Rick is just starting to skate now, so we'll take it day by day with him."
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